Bio: Shawn Strong
Shawn Strong currently runs and operates his video production company, Phanatiks Entertainment, LLC, as director and editor, based in Newburgh, NY. Video editing started as curiosity after returning back to school from a 10 year lapse and leaving music production. Taking Video Production from SUNY Orange sparked what is now his career and business in making music videos, digital shorts and other digital mediums.
As a teenager, Shawn was a disc jockey. His father and older brother were both DJs. He also had a love for drawing, particularly graffiti. From junior high school, his teachers knew he had a knack for it and because of their encouragement, he was painting by high school and had numerous paintings installed in the Newburgh (NY) Public Library, his high school’s principal’s office and selections in the Mount St. Mary’s College Artists on Campus. After graduating high school in 1994, Shawn was awarded numerous art scholarships.
A love of music and a desire to explore possibilities to get into the music industry led Shawn to study communications when he entered St. John’s University. Some years later, Shawn began the enrollment process for the Institute for Audio Research (IAR) in order to further his learning even more. A beat maker and user of the MIDI production machines, Shawn was also heavily pursuing music production. While looking for Rogue Music in Manhattan, he mistakenly went down the stairs instead of up and ended up in Double Phatt, a music studio where he soon became an intern. Interning and being around musicians like the young R & B boy group, Imajin, Shawn ended up putting his IAR enrollment on hold to put the focus on the goal of owning his own studio, which he would do a few years later.
For seven years, Shawn ran a studio with his partner/friend Derek Beckwith. The experience came to an end when his partner became incarcerated for a lengthy period – a catharsis that ended up pushing Shawn back to school and away from music. The transition from music to video wasn’t a hard one for him, but a new love. He started filming his own videos on his Canon HV30, tape based camcorder. From then on, Phanatiks Entertainment – a Hudson Valley, New York film production company – became what it is now.